As some of you may know, The President was here in our fair city yesterday to speak with residents. What I saw in my Facebook feed was people who were either in awe of him and super excited or people that absolutely hate him and want nothing to do with his visit. There is just no in-between. This led me to wonder why we are so polarized with regards to this man. I, personally, am not a fan. I don’t hate him, but I’m certainly not jumping up and down about him either. I think he is probably a great guy. He appears to be a wonderful father and a good husband so I do respect that about him. He is a truly gifted orator as well and has a gift when it comes to motivating people. The problems I have with him are not about him as a person, but rather with policies and practices that I have to question based on my viewpoints.
The first issue I have is concerning the famous Affordable Care Act. I know some who praise this because now everyone will have coverage. I can understand that from a humanitarian stance. The problem is, instead of taking time to really look at what was needed and to vet it and to get input from both sides of the isle, a policy was forced upon us that those who passed it didn’t even understand, and that greatly affected a large number of people in a somewhat negative way. I think we can all agree that we need healthcare reform. Nobody is really questioning that. The way it was done, however, has not left me feeling warm and fuzzy. People who had policies that they could afford and that they liked were told they would be able to keep those. In reality, however, because those policies didn’t meet all the criteria for what they are “supposed” to have, they were forced to lose those policies and sign up for something else that was prohibitively expensive. I’ve also seen what it has done to the healthcare industry. My doctor, for instance, went out of business because they cut payments to doctors so much that he couldn’t afford to keep staff. Not to mention, what they just won’t cover on some policies. Because doctors are so affected by this, many have refused to take patients with insurance from those exchanges. That has led to a backlog of people needing care, who can’t get in with a doctor for at least a month, causing them to go to the ER with simple ailments. For those of you who don’t know, an ER trip is far more expensive than a doctor trip. The trickle down has been felt by most major medical centers and hospitals also. Many smaller hospitals are forced to align themselves with larger, stronger hospitals and as a result much of what made that hospital special and unique has fallen by the wayside. People have been let go from jobs in these areas because of all of this. Small businesses now forced to provide healthcare coverage have gone out of business in some cases and in many have reduced workers to part time so they don’t pay the benefit. The reason for this isn’t because they are hateful, it is that they can’t possibly afford to stay afloat if they are now expected to dole out hundreds of extra dollars for healthcare coverage on each employee. My company already offered coverage, but now I have to pay the same amount for a plan that has a much higher deductible and I have to pay an extra $100 a month for having my husband on with me. I could go on and on with regard to this topic, but I digress. It just seemed like (from my perspective) a very poorly planned and executed thing that we are now all stuck with.
The second issue I take with him is the way he gets things done. He is supposed to be the transparent president who is a peace maker. What I have seen, however, is a person who doesn’t really care what his opponents think. There is no negotiation or discussion. His way or the highway. It disappoints me.
I’m also very concerned with the way he handles things with regards to the Middle East and terrorism. I understand his desire to be diplomatic and to attempt to keep the peace, but there is a difference between diplomacy and cowing down to other demands. I have seen him directly and openly oppose Israel, one of our strongest allies and (for those of you religious out there) God’s chosen people. If there is one thing I learned from the Bible it is that you don’t oppose God’s chosen. Also, the fact that he has made it okay for families to negotiate with terrorists is absolutely dumbfounding. I DO feel extreme sympathy for the families of hostages. Don’t misunderstand me. My issue is this: Most of these hostages were in those countries of their own free will. Nobody told them they had to go there, it was a choice. They knew the dangers. If they get kidnapped and we pay money to terrorists then 1. We are essentially bankrolling their efforts and 2. They will figure out that it works and do it more often. The way they treat these hostages is deplorable, but better the one hostage than 20.
Next there is the topic of military strategy or lack thereof. Granted, most of America wanted our troops back from Iraq, but the reality is that you can’t go in, completely change the government and way of life of the citizens and then sail off into the sunset. It is necessary to provide support to those people you just liberated from tyranny. If you don’t then you get groups like isis. Whether you agree with the war in the first place or not, this is just the way it is.
This is a sampling of solid reasons why I am not a fan. What I want to do now is open this post up for discussion. I know some of you are extremely proud of him and think he is wonderful. Convince me. One caveat…you can’t use the “first black president” bit. This has to be actual policy that makes you proud. Also remember that this is about our current president. NOT about any who came before him. Only things HE did. I may reserve the option to further question your reasons, but there is to be NO hateful talk or bashing of anyone. I will delete that comment immediately if I see it. I am looking for genuine dialog and for everyone to feel free to defend their stance. GO!